Entrepreneurship Marketing Prices & Rates Sales Uncategorized

How to Sell Small Informational Products

If you’re looking to get your feet wet as an entrepreneur— or even just looking for a way to reinvigorate and boost your marketing— nothing beats a well-made small informational product. Whether it’s literally “sold” (as in for profit) or simply offered as a freemium or low-cost bonus to your audience, the small info product is easy to produce, easy to deliver, and easily one of the best returns on investment a small business can make.

Small informational products can take any number of forms. The most common are infographics, short e-books, and videos. Whatever the medium, anything that condenses and delivers valuable knowledge is hard for customers to pass up— especially when it costs them little or nothing. By giving your audience access to these kinds of products, you’re accomplishing two things: adding to your own credibility, and honing your sales skills.

Easy Delivery

Fortunately for online entrepreneurs everywhere, there are a number of services that make moving your small informational product a snap. The following is not sponsored content, folks; these are simply the best ways to get your product out to the public quickly and efficiently.

Gumroad is one of the best ways to offer this kind of product. This service isn’t about high volume or massive numbers. It’s a simple, beginner-minded website that allows anyone to post and sell quality content with zero hassle. It’s easy to embed the technology onto your own website (though if you want, you can have someone on do it for you). Gumroad not only handles the transaction, but actually delivers the product itself to your customer through a simple download page.

Using the Gumroad embed code, you can actually keep customers on your website rather than send them on to any third party’s, including Gumroad’s. Whether or not you prefer to keep the transaction on your site, Gumroad takes a 5% transaction fee. From my perspective, this is well worth it. The ability to forget about the transaction and delivery process is invaluable in the early phases of learning how to sell. Gumroad simply takes care of everything so that you can focus on your next product.

Pricing The Product

With small informational products, the purpose is less to make profits and more to provide proof of concept. If you can sell small, you can eventually sell big. If your expertise is valuable enough to gain traction, the small product will act as a stepping stone to greater things. Keep this in mind when choosing your product’s price point.

When deciding how much (if anything) to charge, aim low! When in doubt, simply make it a steal. Make it an undeniable bargain for anyone interested in your industry. The return on investment isn’t supposed to come through profit— it will come in the form of established credibility and sales experience. It will come in the form of an audience, grateful for whatever problem of theirs your product has solved.

Gumroad even features a “name your price” tool for customers to decide exactly how much they’re willing to pay for your product, with a minimum price set by you (Gumroad takes no fee on free products). To offer free videos, use Wistia, which features an option that requires customers to submit their email after the first minute or two of the video. Build your subscription list— and your reputation— by enticing your audience.

The No-Pressure Product

When it comes to small informational products, it’s safe (and effective) to simply have fun. Don’t sweat the minor details or the minute features of your product. Whether it’s an infographic, e-book, or video, don’t aim for perfection. Each unnecessary improvement can only delay the launch and increase your overhead. Insisting on waiting until you have the “ultimate” version of the product defeats the purpose: to engage in the act of monetizing your knowledge.

The small informational product should be the epitome of the MVP, or Minimum Viable Product. It shouldn’t cost much time or money to produce, and it shouldn’t require too much effort to bring to the public. We’re not advocating laziness or carelessness— it’s simply a matter of understanding that the act of selling your expertise is the true value of the exercise. Improvements and innovations will come as you gain experience.

Be creative. Be willing to experiment. Be yourself. Create a minimum viable product, and teach yourself how to bring customers around to your real value as an expert. With practice, selling small can lead to very big things.

Prices & Rates

How to Set Rates for Your Services

There are a lot of “How to Build a Business” sites and programs out there online. But if you offer a service like photography, videography, design or anything else that exchanges skill for money, there isn’t much out there for us. I mean, some of us can’t take the passive income route with what they have to offer.

As someone who does service based work (Nicole and I still do video work for select clients) and teaches business for a living, I think I should do something about this lack of information. So in the coming weeks, I’m going to be writing a series of posts dedicated to those who want to build and grow a service based business.

For the first post of the series, let’s tackle a question many struggle with- How do I set my rates? I mean really, there is no hard and fast rule about this and no real direction on where to begin.

Am I too expensive? Am I undercutting myself? I’m just getting started, what am I worth? All valid questions and let’s be honest, the idea of being a starving artist isn’t appealing. We all need to pay the bills.

So how do you set a service rate? There are some intricate and confusing ways to this but let’s stick to 2 basic ways that work. Those 2 methods are:

1. Using a market rate

2. Using a “need to make” rate (I made that up. You like?)

Let’s break down what each one means and how to go about figuring out your rate using each method.

1. Using a market rate.

Look at another business that has similar services and experience as you and use a similar rate. A rate can be an hourly rate or a set of prices for service packages.

Not sure where to find businesses with similar services? Take a look at the comments on websites you frequent in your industry. Take a look at the comments in the posts. Click through on some of the names of those who comment and check out their websites. Join forums in your niche and get to know fellow service business builders.

Here is a little exercise to help you get started on figuring out your rate using the market rate method.

List 3 businesses similar to yours and note down their rates/ packages. Rank them from highest to lowest rates. Where would you fit on this list?

  1. _________________________________________
  2. _________________________________________
  3. _________________________________________

2. Using a “need to make” rate.

We all need to eat. So lets figure out how much it costs to do so : ). Seriously though, we all have personal expenses we need to take care of in order to live. If you are offering your service full-time then you’ll need to cover those expenses and your rates will play an important role.

Follow the following steps to know how to set your rates using the “need to make” method.

Step 1: How many hours can you dedicate to your service business every week? Divide that by two. Half of your time will be spent on actually running, marketing and building your business. The other half will be dedicated to your actual service work.

Step 2: How much money do you need to make a week to cover your personal expenses? Everyone is different. Your weekly number may be $1000, $800, $500.

Step 3: Take your weekly amount of money needed and divide it by the number of service work hours a week. That’s your hourly rate.

For example: $1000 / 25 hours = $40 per hour

This isn’t an exact science but it does give you a pretty close idea of how much you need to charge. It’s always safer to lean on the higher side to be safe with this method. So with the example above, I would set my rate to $45 an hour to be safe.

Whatever rate you set for yourself, know that it’s only the start.       Setting your rates is not a one-time only exercise. Your rates should always be increasing as your experience and skills increase.

If you are doing this full-time, you should be revisiting your rates every 3 months for the first year and then every 6 months the years after that. If you are doing this on the side but picking up at least one client a month then I recommend revisiting your rates every 6 months.

That’s pretty much it! I hope you found this helpful. Either way, please let me know. The best way to do that is to tweet at me @bizrepublic. I’d love your feedback as I continue to write for this series. Until the next post, YOU GOT THIS!

Did you know that The $100 MBA has a whole video course with a full workbook showing you exactly how to Build a Service Based Business? It’s just on of the many courses inside the $100 MBA for a flat out insane price. Join today and get LIFETIME access to all of our training, resources and community for only $100 or 3 payments of $35. Start Learning Today!